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simper

[sim-per]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to smile in a silly, self-conscious way.
verb (used with object)
  1. to say with a simper.
noun
  1. a silly, self-conscious smile.

Origin of simper

1555–65; akin to Middle Dutch zimperlijc, dialectal Danish simper affected, Danish sippe affected woman, orig. one who sips (see sip), a way of drinking thought to be affected
Related formssim·per·er, nounsim·per·ing·ly, adverbun·sim·per·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 3. smirk, snigger, snicker.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for simpering

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Some other simpering thing, na doot-they're all alike these days.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • You're simpering at some hidden invention of your own, and you know it.

    Miss Pat at School

    Pemberton Ginther

  • When I got fed up on a bunch of simpering women and their, 'ain't he cute?'

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • "Hay has got all the money," said the simpering admirer who answered to the name of Tempest.

    The Opal Serpent

    Fergus Hume

  • You might as well be a simpering wax dummy out of a shop window.

    Jewel

    Clara Louise Burnham


British Dictionary definitions for simpering

simper

verb
  1. (intr) to smile coyly, affectedly, or in a silly self-conscious way
  2. (tr) to utter (something) in a simpering manner
noun
  1. a simpering smile; smirk
Derived Formssimperer, nounsimpering, adjective, nounsimperingly, adverb

Word Origin

C16: probably from Dutch simper affected
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for simpering

adj.

1580s, present participle adjective from simper (v.). Related: Simperingly.

simper

v.

1560s, "to smile in an affected and silly way," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (e.g. dialectal Danish semper "affected, coy, prudish") or Middle Dutch zimperlijk "affected, coy, prim," of unknown origin. Related: Simpered; simpering. As a noun, 1590s, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper